Band of Horses’ second LP – Cease to Begin – was largely billed as a response to their changing circumstances; the band had left Seattle to settle in South Carolina and the migration spawned a batch of more spacious, Southern Rock infused songs. The glow surrounding Infinite Arms suggests Ben Bridwell’s gang found their feet pretty quickly. An uplifting mood is ushered in by the swooning strings of opener Factory and it’s never more dominant than on lead single Compliments – a bouncing, philosophical ditty. The capriciousness continues on Older, and while it’s harsh to suggest the album suffers at the hands of jollity, it’s slightly stifled by an overriding sense of reservation and light-heartedness. Evening Kitchen provides a few moments of stark beauty and Laredo could have been lifted from at stellar second album, but tracks like On My Way Back Home embody a comfort-induced coma which suggests Band of Horses might need a little shot of adrenaline.
Written for The Skinny
Video: Band of Horses: Compliments and Factory, Live on Jools Holland